Scooter rider died
in crash with
lorry without lights
by David Skentelbery
A SHIFT worker travelling home late at night died when his motor scooter ran into the back of a heavy lorry parked without lights, an inquest heard at Warrington.
Neil Hines, 38, probably never saw the lorry until it was too late as there was no evidence he braked, an inquest was told.
Lorry driver Donald Lind, from Northern Ireland, was asleep in his cab, having parked up for the night.
He had parked under a street lamp and was unaware that he should have been displaying side lights, the inquest was told.
A verdict of misadventure was recorded on Mr Hines, of Cobden Street, Warrington who was killed in the accident on Hardwick Grange, Woolston, Warrington, on March 24.
Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said: “There were no marks on the road to indicate that Mr Hines applied his brakes. In all probability he did not apply them.”
He said about an hour earlier another motor cyclist had narrowly missed colliding with the lorry as he had seen it only at the last minute.
Although the vehicle was parked directly under a street lamp, the light would have shone onto its roof and would not have been reflected off the rear of the lorry, which was in shadow.
The inquest heard Mr Hines, a warehouseman at Safeway, was driving home after completing a shift.
No-one saw the collision and the sleeping lorry driver was unaware it had happened.
It was only when other Safeways workers, also leaving work, arrived on the scene that the tragedy was discovered. Damage to the rear of the lorry indicated the scooter had been travelling at about 30mph. Mr Hines died from multiple-injuries.
PC Geoffrey Millington told the hearing the lorry driver later told him he thought it was only on the continent that side lights were required when parked on the road.
College wins award
from skills council
by John Hendon
WARRINGTON’S Priestley College has become the first college in the North West to be successfully endorsed by SkillsActive – the sector skills council for active leisure and learning.
Priestley’s childcare, education and health and social care department has been granted the pivotal StudySkills code of practice award.
All training providers who wish to be endorsed by SkillsActive have to meet a range of criteria and provide evidence to support their case.
Priestley were found to have passed all the required standards which included the needs of the learner/trainee, the competence of trainers, equal opportunities, induction into the workplace and career progression and routes into training and accredited qualifications.
The college is now listed on the SkillsActive website as an organisation meeting the requirements of a national code of practice. It will also allow Priestley to submit training courses for endorsement and deliver the acclaimed “Making Choices” orientation programme.
Bev Whittaker curriculum head of the college’s childcare, education and health and social care department commented: “We are delighted to be recognised by SkillsActive as an organisation who meet their code of practice criteria.”
She added, “It is further good news for our department and the college in general as we look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”
Prize scams that
by staff reporter
TRADING Standards chiefs at Warrington have been inundated with complaints from consumers duped by postal offers which claim they have won a competition.
Dozens of people are discovering that these prize draws are little more than scams, which end up costing large amounts of cash through telephone calls made to claim the prizes.
The competitions, some of which originate from overseas, claim the recipient has won a prize and urges them to call a premium rate line or send cash to claim it. The small print indicates that one or more prizes may have been won, some of which are far less value than the price of the actual telephone call made to claim them!
Coun Mike Hannon, the borough council’s executive member for community and well being, said: “Bogus prize competitions are now probably the number one source of complaint to Trading Standards services across the UK.
“We are all bombarded with post, text and e-mail messages telling us “You are a Winner”. A fantastic holiday, a new car or lots of money are just waiting for us to claim them and all we have to do is pick up the phone and call the prize line number or send some money to the address given. The message we want to give out is for consumers to “get real”. If it sounds too good to be true, it will be.”
Trading Standards manager Peter Astley also believes that consumers need to be more vigilant, as taking action against the perpetrators of such scams can be very difficult. Peter Astley said: “Although we do what we can to stop such scams I am concerned that a number of consumers, especially the vulnerable, are still taken in by them. I would urge friends and family to help stop these vulnerable people from falling prey by warning them not to respond, or referring them to Trading Standards”.
Peter Astley believes that only consumers can ultimately stop these scams from operating.
“If more and more consumers become wary and ignore these competitions then the businesses will think twice about the viability of running these scams”.
Anyone seeking advice should contact Warrington Trading Standards on 01925 442678. Those with internet access can log on to www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
Planning approval for
business park expansion
by David Skentelbery
PLANNERS have given the go-ahead for a major extension of a business park at Great Sankey, Warrington.
The borough council’s development control committee approved the extension of Lingley Mere business park, off Lingley Mere despite strong opposition from Great Sankey Parish Council.
Parish councillors said the extension would double the size of the business park, creating a huge increase in traffic on local roads and adding to problems likely to be caused by the nearby Omega Business Park.
But the committee gave the green light after hearing there were no objections from the Highways Agency, the council’s own highways department or on environmental grounds.
Planners said the application is to remodel earlier planning permission to extend the development beyond the approved boundary. It will retain the same amount of floor-space to be accommodated in a number of buildings of lower height rather than a single four-storey high building.
A report to the committee stated: “Two and three storey development is proposed. The scheme would provide a range of buildings and plot sizes so as to offer maximum appeal to both local companies and new investors in Warrington.”
Planners say an extra 480 parking spaces, added since the original application, would provide an appropriate level.
The application is part of the southernmost part of the development granted permission in 1987, that will offer mixed uses including offices, light and general industry, warehousing and laboratories/research and development uses.
“pure water” initiative
by John Hendon
A WARRINGTON businessman has become so concerned about the quality of tap water and the cost of bottled alternatives that he has launched a new business to market water filtration systems for homes and businesses.
Graham Wilks and his wife Dee already run a highly successful company, Inn Dispensable, which services beer dispensing equipment in pubs and clubs throughout the North West.
But the couple are passionate about water and the effect it has on health so have launched The Chilled Water Company.
Graham said: “Health professionals recommend that we should all be drinking two litres of water a d
ay to maintain a healthy body. Yet many people don’t. One reason for this is that tap water is just not all that appealing. I don’t think anybody seriously questions the safety of water available from the mains, but we know that many people find that, due to the processes it has to go through, it can have an off-putting taste and even odour.
“At the same time, many people who do make an effort to drink water choose to buy it in bottles at a considerable annual cost. Our idea was to market a system that would filter tap water to take out the chemicals which are a necessary part of the large scale treatment and transportation process.
“Once filtered, the water has a much higher level and purity, is chilled and is altogether more appealing.
“Of course, the idea of filtering water at the point of use is not exactly new. What is different about our system is that it has been developed to be installed discreetly and to produce filtered water with very low maintenance. Because the filters last such a long time it is true to say that the more you use it, the lower the cost of the water.”
Sales of bottled water have risen dramatically since the 1980s. But it is still viewed by many as almost a luxury, even fashionable item, to be drunk on its own but not used in any other way. Water filters, on the other hand, allow all the water consumed in a home or office to be of the highest quality, so that even water used in cordials or beverages and in cooking benefits from the removal of the chemical traces that can affect flavour.
Graham concluded: “Water filtration is about health. We are not claiming that tap water in this country isn’t safe, but we believe that very few people actually want to drink it because of its taste. This is important, given that most of us should be drinking more water than we do, and so improving the experience of drinking water has to have a positive impact on health.”
Money to help students
stay in education
by staff reporter
A NEW scheme to help eligible students stay on at school or college has been welcomed by Warrington councillor Yvonne Fovargue.
Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) pays up to ?30 a week directly into a students bank account if they stay on in education at school or college after their GCSEs.
Available for any academic or vocational course which involves at least 12 hours of guided learning per week, the cash can cover items such as travel costs, books or equipment.
If entitled, a student will receive their EMA payment every week of the course as long as they turn up to class. Most young people will be able to get EMA for two to three years depending on how long they need to finish their studies.
And students could also get a bonus of ?100 in January and July – and again in October if they come back for a second year. Bonuses depend on the progress made with the course.
Coun Yvonne Fovargue, who represents the Fairfield and Howley ward, said: “The UK has one of the highest post-16 drop out rates in the western world. The government is determined to smash school drop out rates at 16 and boost the aspiration and opportunities for those young people who have never viewed staying on at school or college as something for them.”
“But, EMAs are not money for nothing. You only earn if you learn. The weekly payments depend on the young person being able to demonstrate that they are committed to turning up and working hard. If you stop learning, then you stop earning.”
“I believe that the EMA will make a real difference to the future prospects of students from poorer backgrounds living in Warrington.”